Up until the late 1990s, women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer were told not to take part in upper body exercise. The concern: it would increase their risk for lymphedema. Then, the results of a study that enrolled women in an exercise and dragon boat racing program found that upper body exercise helped reduce lymphedema risk. Since then, many women with early-stage and metastatic breast cancer have taken up the sport. There are now 225 teams in 25 countries.
Below you will find links to articles about breast cancer and dragon boat racing, the study that showed dragon boat racing improved quality of life, a documentary that aired on local PBS channels, and the International Breast Cancer Paddler’s website and Facebook page–in case you want to learn how to get involved.
- NPR Boston: Breast Cancer and Dragon Boat Racing: The Story Behind a Movement
- CancerHealth.com: How Dragon Boat Racing Gave Breast Cancer Survivors Back Their Bodies
- US National Library of Medicine: Dragon Boat Racing and Health Related Quality of Life
- Missoulian.com: All Ages, All Stages: Cancer Thrivers Take to Dragon Boats for Therapy, Strength
- PBS: Oceans of Pink: A PBS Documentary
- International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission: International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission
- Facebook Page: International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission
Last Modified on February 16, 2021